During the South by Southwest (SXSW) - the music, film, arts and technology festival organized every year in Austin (Texas) - many events were recorded live by the spectators with a new smartphone application called Meerkat which works through Twitter.
In a few days it became one of the most downloaded from the APP store and in a short time it could become one of the most important linked to Twitter
How does it work
- To use Meerkat you just need a Twitter account, which serves as a login credential. To start a live video, just give the event a title and start the broadcast.
- Meerkat automatically sends a tweet from your account, with the title of the event in progress and a link to follow it.
- Those who want to watch the shooting must always log in through their Twitter account.
- The images are taken via the camera of your iPhone and a counter with the number of connected viewers is shown.
- The broadcast can be paused and ended at any time.
- Meerkat does not save streaming anywhere on its servers and therefore it is not possible to review the recording by returning to the link published at the time of the start of the live broadcast.
- When the live broadcast ends, however, Meerkat asks whether to save the video on the phone, so that it can then be uploaded and shared on other video systems such as YouTube or the same service integrated within Twitter.
- Meerkat in this sense falls under the concept of the so-called "Ephemeral web" where things posted and shared online are very short-lived.
In two weeks on the App Store, Meerkat has collected 150 thousand users, and thanks to the interest of more traditional technology sites and media in the United States has continued to grow at a rapid pace.
That between Meerkat and Twitter it will be a love / hate relationship because as soon as Twitter sensed the potential of the operation, it immediately limited many features applied to Meerkat and bought Periscope, an app that does more or less the same thing, complicating this fragile symbiosis.
In this first phase, Twitter has already taken away from its users the possibility of sending an automatic notification to followers. From now on we will understand how their relationship will evolve ...